During a regular after-school grub crawl, gluttonous high schooler Hibiki Sakura is confronted about her ever-expanding waistline by her best friend, Ayaka Uehara. With her attempts at solitary exercise failing miserably, Hibiki decides to join the newly opened Silverman Gym. At her orientation, Hibiki runs into student council president and school idol Akemi Souryuuin.
However, it soon turns out that Hibiki is in for a lot more than she bargained for. Not only is Silverman Gym full of world-renowned bodybuilders and athletes, but to make matters worse, Akemi turns out to be a total muscle fetishist! Grossed out by the scene unfolding before her eyes, Hibiki begins to leave, only to be stopped by trainer Naruzou Machio. Completely enthralled with her newfound Prince Charming, Hibiki signs up as a gym member. Now, as a result of her spur-of-the-moment decision, Hibiki must adapt to her new lifestyle.
How many anime have you watched or even heard about, whose main narrative is about exercising? Heck, how many shows in general, anime or otherwise, have you come across that have exercising as their premise? In this time of generic anime filled with clichés and predictable outcomes that bore you to death, Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? (How Heavy are the Dumbbells you lift?) comes off as a breath of fresh air. From dumbbells to girls flexing their bodies and showing off their curves and “macho” guys posing with their bulging muscles ripping their clothes off, this anime has it all in abundance. Which other anime
can claim to have all this and then execute it in a way that actually makes every minute of every episode a joy to watch? Not any I know of.
At first, I didn’t honestly expect this anime to deliver on the title. But it pleasantly surprised me not only with actually giving me something unique to watch for once, but also twisting the common comedic tropes into something that feels exceptionally refreshing. Not to mention that the information provided about the exercises and the biological structure of muscles is very accurate. What brought a smile to my face every time was the depiction of common problems that newbies have when starting out with gym equipment as it reminded me of myself doing similarly when I began hitting the gym for the first time.
The story starts off with Hibiki Sakura, a high-schooler attending an all-girls school and has an uncontainable craving of unhealthy food, wanting to lose weight. Of course, she has a hidden motive. She wants a boyfriend. And to her delight, there’s a new gym that opens up in town for her to pursue her fleeting wish of getting slimmer. Simple enough story. But where Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru truly shines is taking this and turning it into a ride filled with supremely entertaining characters introduced throughout the run of the 12 episodes.
For the rest of the cast cast, we’ve got a group of normal-looking teenage girls who for one reason or another, join the Silverman Gym. Akemi Souryuuin is the model student of Kouyou Girl’s Academy; excelling at studies as well as sports, and to the surprise of many around her, being a fitness freak. She’s a bag of one shock after another due to the unexpected personality traits that she reveals. Next, we’ve got Ayaka Uehara, Hibiki’s best friend and the daughter of a retired pro-boxer. Her personality is probably the most unsurprising. I mean almost every other character apart from her is not what they look. She’s also probably the most uninteresting of the main cast because of that.
And then we have the only male of the main cast and just about the only named guy for about two-thirds of the anime, Machio Naruzou. His name should really have been “Macho” and I doubt people would’ve complained because it’s the only accurate way to describe him. Full of charisma and even more muscles, he’s the main trainer of the Silverman Gym. With his clothes on, he comes off as a normal, cheerful young man. Although he is anything but that. Not in a bad way of course, because his antics of ripping his clothes to pose every other minute never gets old. “Sido Chesto!"
Then, we have Satomi Tachibana, a teacher without a boyfriend who has a big secret, and Gina Boyd, the foreign student, to round off the main cast. They both have their quirks which are the cause for a lot of entertainment but since they’re introduced towards the middle of the season, it’s probably better to not talk about them too much here.
The animation is surprisingly good and full marks to the studio for making the best use of their budget by focusing on the scenes that needed more attention. Some of the Jojo-style stills are inserted at just the right time to make me laugh out loud. Would better animation have made these scenes more memorable? Most definitely. However, that’s true for almost any anime (bar those produced by ufotable of course.). The opening “Onegai Muscle” is sung by the VAs of the characters themselves, primarily by Machio and Hibiki’s Vas. And it’s just perfect. Same with the ending and the voice acting. Unless I nitpick, I don’t really see a reason to complain about it.
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? certainly has tons of entertainment value, which is one of the most important factors in any form of media. Having said all of this, this is an anime that may not be for everyone. Do you dislike over the top comedy and guys showing off their bodies every few minutes? If so, this might not be for you. Even for those people though, I’d say you should give this a try by watching an episode and finding out for yourselves if it suits your fancy. I think this show will keep most of you entertained.
There are Anime that try to be the jack of all trades, and they very much succeed in doing so. Then there are the Anime that try to do the same, only to fail miserably and fall flat on their faces. This Anime is not exactly the latter, but it comes close to being so, and why is that you ask? Because it tries to do so many things, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark with what it does, and it becomes obvious to the audience that it is trying it’s hardest to stand out, rather than just be a silly ecchi disguised as
a sports Anime. First of all, it tries to be an infomercial about sports, yet it doesn’t quite succeed in doing so since it’s busy trying to be a comedy as well. The comedy is not that funny or bone tickling anyways, since it is the same redundant gag repeated many times during each episode, and the whole gist of this Anime overall is being an ecchi that isn’t really an echhi, and that it is disguised as a gym infomercial or a slice of life about girls training.
The comedy lands solidly due to the good production values and the decent delivery, but other than that there really isn’t any other merit to said comedy, since it gets repeated many times over until it turns trite. The production values are decent, from the decent animation, to the welcoming color palette, to the fine soundtrack, and there aren’t any complaints towards them. They are fine as they are and serve the show well enough.
As for the characters, they are the typical, run-of-the-mill slice of life characters. They aren’t really anything to write home about, yet they aren’t really one dimensional per say. Hibiki is not really a poorly developed character, she is nice as she is. However, Akemi is the basic rich girl who lacks anything that would make her stand out. Think of any typical and plain rich character you could find elsewhere and you will get her. Characters aren’t really bad, but they border on tame for most of the time, and they feel like they are epitome of slice of life characters.
This Anime is a good Anime for the ecchi fans out there. Panty shots, thigh shots, gigantic tatas and everything else an ecchi lover wants, they can find it here. It is hot and it most certainly delivers regarding that aspect. The characters are good looking enough as they are, and that alone will attract ecchi lovers, and the fanservice most certainly delivers as well. The unfunny faces could turn out to be a problem though, and they ruin from the immersion of enjoying the sexiness that this Anime gives off.
Overall, this is a fine Anime. What really hinders it from being good is the fact that it tries so hard to be the jack of all trades, yet it only succeeds in one thing, and that is being sexy. It wasn’t a bad watch at the end of the day, it was a fine watch as it is, though I think that ecchi lovers will enjoy this one far more than I did, even when some unfunny bits are to be expected here and there.
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru is probably the most fun anime I’ve watched this season. Its got a colorful cast of characters who each add their own flair to the show and showcases some really solid comedy. It also provides some actually useful knowledge about the human body and working out. But you know what sets it apart from practically all other anime I’ve watched?
To me, this is a pretty monumental feat. You’ll be hard pressed to find a show that actually inspires you to do what’s being shown. When I watch sports anime for example, I don’t immediately think to go and become
more athletic so I can look like the hot anime dudes playing the sports. Yet strangely enough, watching a ridiculously jacked almost nude dude giving me training lessons while girls drawn to look as seductive as possible are giving the demonstrations made me get up and train with them. And I did this with every single episode. Better yet, I actually started exercising regularly by using the exercises taught in the show. But I'm not here to talk about me, so let's get into what I like about this anime!
The story follows high schooler Sakura Hibiki as she goes on a quest to obtain the ultimate slim sexy body by working out. The girl must be a perfectionist, because she’s already got a super hot bod anyway, but that’s besides the point! The anime doesn’t explore much plot wise outside of the characters working out in different ways in different locations under different circumstances, but that’s absolutely fine for this kind of anime! The best part is that it just never gets boring. Each episode throws the characters into diverse environments ranging from mountain ranges to beaches and has them tackle differing obstacles in life…and in the weight room. As the anime progresses, more girls are added in, and the show just got better and better in terms of content with each girl added. Probably because of how quirky each girl ended up being.
To give a brief break down on each of them, Hibiki is just adorable af and likes to eat, Akemi has awesome heart pupils and has a muscle fetish, Zina is an eccentric Russian otaku, Satomi is a cosplaying teacher, and Ayaka’s got some ABS! Character development? Pfft, who cares! All that matters is that they have great personalities, are all single and look great while working out. Of course, I can’t leave out everyone’s favorite muscle bro Machio, who is just so full of knowledge about muscles…and he’s just pretty full of muscles period. The dude also drops some fantastic one liners.
This anime throws so much random stuff at you from time to time and it’s just brilliant. Just when I was going to take a break from exercising and watch an idol anime, BOOM! The girls audition as muscle idols. When I was beginning to question this anime being an ecchi, BOOM! The girls get their cloths obliterated Shokugeki style after witnessing Machio’s radiant muscles. And just when I was craving an image of a shirtless Comrade Putin posing with a bear in the icy Russian mountains, BOOM! The anime delivers. This show also has frickin' ARNOLD SCHWARZEN- ah, I mean, BARNOLD SHORTSINATOR! And the references he makes are great, such as the famous “hasta la vista, baby” line from Terminator 2. Arnold, er, Barnold’s inclusion in this show is honestly one of the best references that I’ve seen in an anime. There’s also a multitude of fourth-wall breaking, which is always amusing. The comedy in this show is seriously quite good, and it’s been one of the very few anime in recent memory to actually make me laugh out loud while watching.
And honestly, that’s usually enough to make me really appreciate a show. But that aside…sai?…Sai…SAIDO CHESTO!!!!!!!!!!
*Ahem* As I was saying, aside from the animated characters and sound comedy, Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru boasts some solid animation and sound. Visually, muscles are drawn with high precision. Machio just looks super macho! The girls are of course designed to be attractive, and I really like the coloring choices used by studio Doga Kobo, especially with the characters’ eyes. Sakura is the best example of their success in my opinion. She’s tan, blonde, has striking green eyes with a hint of pink, has twintails, has a fang, and has a super sexy bod that is slightly thicker than the other girls but still looks fantastic.
Yeah, A+ character design right there. And while I may sound a little creepy and sad by expressing my attraction to a 2D anime girl, I’m the target audience and I like what I see, so that’s a success by the studio in my eyes!
“HIP RAISE! SIDE BEND! BENT OVER! LAT PULL DOWN!” Wow, just listening to the opening made me discover so many different exercises. Even the damn theme song is educational! The song itself is super catchy and fun. Also, thanks to the motivational shouting of Sakura and Machio, the tune actually becomes a pretty good work out song that weirdly gets me pumped up. Of course, where the sound department truly shines is in the voice acting. The “Uuuuus!” and “Ahhhhhs!” that the girls moan out when they’re exercising in particular are quite nice to listen to. And while they all did an excellent job, the seiyuu that I was most impressed with would be Ai Fairouz, who makes her voice acting debut as leading lady Sakura Hibiki. And boy, does she deliver! She just sounds so passionate in her role. It really feels like she’s having a fun time doing this, and her excellent delivery really heightened the enjoyment of the show for me. Pretty darn good for a newbie. Let’s hope she can make a successful career in the industry!
I don’t like talking about myself in a review, but it’s true that since watching this anime, I’ve improved both physically and socially. Now Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru obviously isn’t the reason why I started going out with people. And it’s clearly not magically making me more fit. But it provided a spark. It motivated me to make some changes in my life. Sure, they were minuscule changes, but they were for the better nonetheless. And because of that, this show has done more for me personally than practically every anime that I’ve seen, including most of my absolute favorites.
Of course that’s just me, and I can’t guarantee that you’ll get anything out of Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru. Regardless, this anime is just super entertaining to watch, and hey, if you end up working out and developing super awesome muscles because of it, then that’s a sweet added bonus! Thanks for reading and NICE BULK!
Most people would agree that when it comes to judging a person's actions, the intent of the individual is what is most important. But is that really true? Even if the intent is poor, doesn't the result outweigh the intent?
Let's say a company makes an anime, with the intent of earning money and entertaining an audience. After all, making a profit is the entire goal of any business, correct? However, the result is motivating people in a positive way. To try new things, look outside the box. To give them a small push that leads them to self-improvement. To donate an extra few milligrams
of dopamine to brighten someone's day. Wouldn't you agree that the result strongly outshines the intent? This is the result of watching Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru?.
The power of cute girls doing cute things is a mysterious phenomenon. Whether it's the urge to pick up an instrument after watching K-ON!!. Or Yuru Camp△ and its enticing offer to delve into nature. These types of anime have a subtle charm that persuades you to explore new endeavors.
While it can't be scientifically proven, I am certain that I'm not alone in this experience. Can't find the motivation to get a gym membership and hit the weights? Watch this anime and you will understand what I'm talking about.
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru is uncharted territory for the Slice of life/Comedy genre. (aka cute girls doing cute things) Just when you think every possible avenue has been excavated, we strike yet another gold mine. Similar to the Isekai genre, I am convinced that there are endless possibilities. My initial expectations of this anime were nothing short of pandering fanservice and cute girls working out in the gym. I am grateful that I was proven wrong.
We all have that friend who is always complaining they want to shed some pounds (Kgs) but can't stop stuffing their face. Or something so primal and human as judging a book by its cover. We all create a mental persona of how a person is based on how they carry themselves. How they appear from the outside looking in. However, the reality in most cases never matches the picture you painted. This contrast is how I would describe the comedy in this anime, and it is a stroke of genius. They create scenarios that literally anyone can relate to and flip them on their head. I wouldn't consider it witty, or slapstick, It's just damn relatable.
Like many things in life, there needs to be a balance. Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru's ability to transition between the hilariously relatable and more serious educational scenes is unmatched. This seamless tight rope walk is what makes the anime so enjoyable. It keeps the jokes always feeling fresh. Even the more repetitive gags (SIADO CHESTO!) are still hilarious until the final moments.
Much like others in the genre, there is not much "plot" to be seen. However, where it lacks in plot it outdoes itself with cute, relatable characters and perfect punchlines. Not to mention outstanding music. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I would say it's pretty hard to dispute the fact that the OP and ED are catchy as hell.
Speaking of cute characters, our main duo Hibiki and Akemi are polar opposites. We have Akemi the disciplined, muscle obsessed, student council president. Who is contrasted by Hibike the gluttonous free spirit. They make for an unlikely duo, but the way they play off each other's differences creates countless amusing moments.
Don't worry there is more. We have the slim athletic boxer, a Russian foriener, and even a teacher who is a closet cosplayer. How can we possibly forget the personal trainer who has bicepts the size of my head, while somehow maintaing an adorable baby face. With the cast posessing such a wide range of personalities there are countless angles for the anime's humor to flourish.
This is an ecchi (perverted) anime so of course there is no shortage of eye candy. I'm not here to judge your intent for watching this anime. I do advise you give it a chance though, even if it's not something you would normally watch. Hopefully your results are the same as mine. Becoming a more motivated and overall happier person.